Non clouded judgement from the GigaOm Structure Conference

Last week I attended the GigaOM Structure Conference in San Francisco, which is a key event in the calendar for companies in all areas of internet infrastructure and cloud computing, bringing together thought leaders from America and beyond to discuss the future of internet infrastructure
Some fascinating highlights and trends have come out of the conference:

API Wars

An entertaining panel involved Chris Kemp from Nebula (for Openstack), Sameer Dholakia (for Citrix) and Marten Mickos (for Eucalyptus) debating API standardisation vs innovation etc.

To summarise,  Citrix and Eucalyptus both came over open-minded about supporting multiple APIs, either now or in the future (Eucalyptus is based on the AWS API, Citrix supports both their own and AWS), whereas Chris Kemp from Nebula came over as rather narrow minded, in that Nebula will only ever support their own API and that has enough groundswell to become the new standard.  Lew Moorman for Rackspace (supporting Openstack) also presented previously at the conference presenting a similar stance.
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Flexiant World Hosting Day Gold Partner and CloudCamp@WHD Platinum Partner


Flexiant, a leading European provider of cloud orchestration software for on-demand, fully automated provisioning of cloud services, is a Gold Partner at World Hosting Day (WHD), March 20-23, 2012 at Europa-Park, Germany. Flexiant is also a Platinum Partner at CloudCamp@WHD on March 22, 2012.

As a WHD Gold Partner, Flexiant will exhibit its software that gives cloud hosting providers business agility, freedom and flexibility to scale, deploy and configure services, simply and cost-effectively. Benefits include the ability for these providers to keep pace and differentiate in a progressively competitive market.

George Knox, CEO, Flexiant said, “Most hosting providers are inherently risk adverse and while they have embraced the cloud they often also view it as a potential threat. At WHD, we’ll be showcasing how Flexiant can help de-risk the cloud for hosting providers as they look to commercialise more cloud services for both revenue assurance and new revenue streams.”

WHD is one of the most important European gatherings of the international hosting industry. WHD unites experts from the hosting and related industries to foster interaction and open up new opportunities for partner companies and visitors alike.

At CloudCamp@WHD, Damon McKay, Engineering Manager at Flexiant will present a ‘lighting talk’ on building your first cloud platform. He’ll also join four cloud experts to discuss and share experiences, challenges and solutions with attendees.

CloudCamp is an ‘unconference’ where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas. At CloudCamp, attendees are encouraged to share thoughts in several open discussions, as the event strives for the advancement of Cloud Computing. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate.

What:  Flexiant WHD Gold Partner and CloudCamp@WHD Platinum Partner

Who:  Damon McKay featured presenter at CloudCamp@WHD

When:  WHD March 20-23, 2012;  CloudCamp@WHDMarch 22, 2012

Where:  Europa-Park, Germany

More Information:

A few Moments on Cloud Billing

Cloud Billing SoftwareCloud billing is not a sexy subject. But billing is what keeps our businesses ticking. The challenge many service providers face is how to bill their customers for their cloud services.

Even for private clouds, billing is important. Being able to meter and rate usage, whether it is for internal chargeback or simply to demonstrate what department is using what resources, requires 90% of a billing system; it might not send invoices, but it does the same thing. If you are a service provider offering a ‘wrapped cloud offering’ where one invoice is produced at the end of each month, which is not directly correlated to usage, you still need to know how much it is costing you. So, for just about every application of cloud within service providers, billing really matters.

There are two main types of billing engines in use in service providers that are looking at providing cloud services. These are:

•    Hosting billing – This is subscription billing; typically billing a fixed amount each month, on a single bill.

•    Telco billing – This type of billing is the sort of billing that your phone company uses, based on CDRs (‘call description records’) which are metered, rated and billed – much like the back page of your phone bill.
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Ministerial visit to Flexiant HQ

It’s been an exciting week so far at the Flexiant camp, following an official visit from Angela Constance MSP, Fergus Ewing (Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism) and Alyn Smith (MEP).  They paid us a visit on Monday to hear more about the three EU funded projects we are involved in, which together are valued at 20 million euros.

To give you a bit of background information, these projects are part of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research and technological development. In 2010, our cutting edge cloud platform Extility was selected to be used as a test bed by three of these pan-European projects, and ever since then we have been working in close partnership with Europe’s leading experts in cloud computing to deliver them. Our partners include ATOS Origin, SAP, British Telecom, Telefonica and Orange.

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